2020 Surgery Annual Report

Letter from the Chair

The COVID-19 pandemic upended virtually every aspect of our lives as individuals and collectively as a society. And yet, through it all, the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine persevered in expertly balancing the tripartite mission of clinical care, education and research, and leading the way through the most uncommon and unusual of circumstances.

Department of Surgery group photo
At the Forefront

by the numbers

Total active grants

$ in total grant funding

Total active research protocols

Clinical trials

Other (data collection, sample collection, noninterventional) trials

$ in total clinical trial funding


The stories below highlight the many ways in which our surgeons and their teams continued to provide the highest level of care in 2020, while adapting to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. 

Cardiac Surgery

A successful heart transplant is complicated by COVID-19, as the transplant team mobilizes to treat the infection while keeping the patient’s spirits up.

Colon & Rectal Surgery

Combining cutting-edge robotic technology with compassionate care leads to improved quality of life for patients.

General Surgery

Robotic surgical options for patients with the CDH1 gene mutation result in less intra-operative blood loss and shorter recovery times.


The nonprofit BrainUp’s commitment to patients, families and research benefits the University of Chicago Medicine Brain Tumor Center.

Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery

Creative, team approach returns a sense of hope and taste to one of the world’s most renowned chefs.

Pediatric Surgery

The multidisciplinary Clinic for Pediatric Vascular Anomalies looks back on a year where virtually nothing was normal operating procedure.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

The world-class Burn and Complex Wound Center looks back on Dr. Lawrence Gottlieb’s 30-plus years of dedication.

Thoracic Surgery

Dr. Maria Lucia Madariaga launches a clinical trial to study the efficacy of convalescent plasma in recovered COVID-19 patients.

Transplant Surgery

Given six months to live, a 32-year-old patient receives a new liver that saved her life.

Trauma & Acute Care Surgery

Section Chief Selwyn O. Rogers, Jr., MD, MPH, testifies in front of a congressional panel addressing gun violence as a public health crisis in America.


Robotic surgery improves quality of life for prostate cancer patients by reducing pain, complications and recovery time.

Vascular Surgery & Endovascular Therapy

Dr. Christopher L. Skelly, the Section Chief, and Dr. Trissa A. Babrowski collaborated with colleagues at the Booth School of Business to create the Limb Salvage Program.

town halls

in recognition

The continued success of the University of Chicago Department of Surgery is due in part to the generous support and contributions of alumni, friends, foundations, corporations and other institutions. The Department of Surgery gives a heartfelt thank you to the following individuals and organizations for contributing $10,000 or more in 2019–20.

American Heart Association

Association for Academic Surgery Foundation

Be Brave for Life Foundation

Marc Copland

Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation

Brenda H. Feis

Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Trust Estate of Doris Graber

Hemera Foundation

Paul H. Jordan

Trust Estate of Courtney A. Kleman

Kovler Family Foundation

Stephen Macumber

Anita Marcott

John and Betsy McLinden Foundation

Nanofiber Solutions, LLC

The Steve Nash Foundation

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Pediatric Cancer Foundation

Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation

James Resnick

    Christopher and Anne N. Reyes Foundation

    Schwab Charitable Fund

    Estate of Sam P. Serio

    Society of University Surgeons

    Alexis & Steven Strongin DAF Fund

    John Supera

    Peter Theodore

    University of Akron

    Weiner-Marc Foundation

    WRG Foundation